Martin Guitar Still Acoustic King, CEO Can’t Play for Peanuts

Posted 04 Jun 2008 in Acoustic Guitar, News

Forbes has a feature story on Martin Guitars, still going strong after 175 years of guitar manufacturing.  Martin currently sells 90,000 guitars per year – the most out of all manufacturers in the United States. According to CEO Chris Martin, 52, the economic downturn of late hasn’t affected sales, but he is troubled about the not too distant future.

Amazingly, they were almost bankrupt in 1982, but managed to turn the company around.  Martin has grown explosively since then – while it took nearly 160 years for the company to build its first 500,000 guitars, Martin cranked out the next 500,000 in only 14.

More surprisingly the CEO admits that he can’t play the guitar for peanuts:

“I’m an abysmal guitar player,” confesses Martin, sixth-generation CEO of the eponymous guitar maker C.F. Martin & Co.  “It bored me to death. I never practiced,” Martin says ruefully. “And that’s about where I am with the guitar. … I still lay in bed at night thinking, ‘Maybe I should try again.'”

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